Eva Longoria and George Lopez
09/12/2012 at 02:00 PM EDT
has worked with a lot of big stars – and experience has made her picky about who she collaborates with in Hollywood.
"Life's so short," the actress, 37, told PEOPLE Monday. "You should be surrounded by people who make each other better people."
One of her favorite folks to work with, she says, is George Lopez, 51, who happens to be her co-host at the Latin community's ALMA Awards
, airing Sept. 21.
"We're in a stage in our lives where we've done a lot in our careers and we work with people we want to work with," the former Desperate Housewives
star says of herself and Lopez.
Now she's looking forward to hosting the awards show with her close pal for the third time.
"There's a mutual respect and a lot of love," Lopez tells PEOPLE of Longoria. "Also, I think Eva is, without question, one of the funniest, most spontaneous people I've ever met."
Echoes Longoria, "I love being George's sidekick for the night. I set up the jokes and he knocks them out of the park. He's the funniest guy around."
The show, which Lopez calls "the Emmys with curves," will feature presentations by stars including, Jake Gyllenhaal
and Devious Maids
cast members Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramirez, Edy Ganem and Judy Reyes. Christina Aguilera
will be on hand to receive a special achievement award.
Hispanic cable network mun2 is presenting the Alma Awards red carpet special, and Telemundo is hosting the show's official website
. The show airs Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.